The Value of Leftovers

Originally published Friday, 15 November 2013.

We are a family in love with hand me downs. From a sister’s drawer to a cousin’s closet right down to a good neighborhood garage sale, I unashamedly beam with excitement at the thought of putting someone’s leftovers to good use.   

I’ll be honest, shopping gives me a rush. Period. But the level of excitement I feel when finding a good pair of jeans for $6 or a rustic coffee table for $15 literally makes me do the “happy dance!” In public. Regardless of who’s watching.  Pure joy.

Recently, my husband and I made some updates and changes to our growing daughters’ bedrooms. We replaced their furniture, including cribs, with someone else’s old furniture (of course!). In addition, we added some new bedding, and removed and rearranged various accessories and items that had become useless in the new space.

Without hesitation, on the Tuesday after the room revisions were complete, I asked my husband to sit the unwanted items on the curb for trash collection. He looked at me with a mix of confusion and disgust. After a long pause, he eventually replied, “No way! I took pictures so that I can put that stuff on Craig’s List! Someone will want it.”

I disagreed but he won. The items are still sitting in my garage waiting to be posted…(oh wait, that’s a blog for another day!)

My husband convinced me that in the right hands, with a new coating and finish, the cribs could be of good use to someone. The pink flowered bedding would make another little girl happy and the price would be a blessing to a new mom. Just because our family had outgrown the items, didn’t make them useless or garbage.

As he continued to make his case, I struggled with the idea that someone could find an ounce of use for what had become our trash. Let alone be blessed by it.

After pondering for a few days, I came to realize that he was correct. Yes, the girls had outgrown the cribs but outside of a few scratches and normal scuffs, they could be passed on and shared with another growing family.

Maybe you have some items in your home that you have outgrown and are ready to toss in the trash. That shirt that you just can’t believe you ever wore. The piece of furniture that no longer fits nicely but now takes up way to much space in your kitchen. The old shoes, the jacket and the jeans with the holes--don’t throw them out just yet! These items may just make someone else do the happy dance!

Even more, are there things in your life that you have outgrown and are eager to toss out with tomorrow’s garbage? Maybe it’s the scar of past hurt or the reminder of old mistakes. Maybe it is exactly what God wants to use to bless someone’s life.

As you grow in Christ, do not disregard the value that the leftovers and the junk of your life may bring to someone else.